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The Groove - How long will desert freedom be deserted?
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As most of you know, I have a deep love for festivals, concerts and the connections these experiences bring. So, during this hard time, let’s once again delve into a much-needed joyous topic written from my soul, which I hope to bring inspiration and hope.

During the pandemic, concert and festival dates have been pushed back. My fear is these will be cancelled altogether. 

Burning Man is now being live-streamed over the computer.

A unique event where misfits, "hippies" and those wanting to find an escape and freedom from the day-to-day monotony of societal norms can gather and become a true city filled with love, acceptance, and a community filled with care and understanding

Even being able to experience freedom of the soul for just one week, before returning to what is acceptable as the status quo, is a beautiful gift. These unique individuals must hide who they are to be seen as “normal,” which who knows what that word even means. Are any of us normal, and is there even such a thing?

Spirited individuals, who’ve found freedom, must now throw dust in their eyes when returning to society in order to blind themselves, and once again, be able to become what’s expected of them, although they are just a number in the grand scheme of things.

After a week on the playa, which is the desert community I recommend going to, at least once in your lifetime, forms its own city with a population of 80,000 people.

It’s called Black Rock City and forms once a year in the middle of nowhere, Nevada. Dust storms, being covered in dirt, surprisingly pleasant heat, yet a chill at night, doesn’t deter tens of thousands of people from around the world to celebrate life and love.

After the pandemic hit, the joyous dancing and unity will never be the same as the experience the desert previously provided.

Following the ending of this experience, these individuals, who’ve participated in such freedom, will now sit on the train or sit mindlessly in traffic while driving to their 9-to-5 jobs.

And the women who dressed as they wished without fear of judgment and expressed such an amount of creativity, are now clothed in what is believed to be an acceptable dress or skirt, which must not be too short, for fear of being thought of as too provocative, nor a skirt or dress which is too long, in order to not be thought of as a prude.

An appropriate amount of make-up must be worn in order to not look disheveled while too much make-up may constitute the belief of being a tramp. If heels and lipstick are worn, is it professional or is it begging for more sexualization and degrading comments in the corporate male-fueled world?

My point in all of this is once this pandemic passes, may all of the outcasts and free spirits be able to return to the desert and experience our inner truths and become one?

Standard reporter Atlanta Northcutt can be reached at 473-2191.